Interview: Drew Macias

WASHINGTON DC: Drew Macias, 26, has been up and down between San Diego and Portland more times than...well insert your own favorite analogy.

When he has been up, Macias has shown flashes of the type of outfielder that he could become on the major league level, a patiently aggressive hitter that hits the ball hard into the gaps with a solid strike zone judgement that gets him on base. In the field, he can play all three outfield positions with arguably the best outfield arm in the Padres system.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Drew on one of his frequent trips to the big leagues.

Tell us a little about the hand injury that you suffered when you were in Portland?

Drew Macias: It was just a fastball up and in and couldn't get out of the way in time. It hit me on the right hand and it took awhile to heal, I was a little surprised how long it took me to heal. I played through it though.

How tough is it to decide when or when not to play? Obviously the game is tough enough without having another obstacle in front of you?

Drew Macias: Looking back now, it would have been smarter to take some more time off, but I love playing, I'm a competitor, and I want to be in there playing as much as I can.

When you played up here you've started to put up some numbers when you've gotten the opportunity to play. Walks, gap shots and playing good defense. What has really kicked in this time as compared to in the past?

Drew Macias: Its a little more comfortable each time, but I still get that adrenaline rush each time. Being up here more helps and I'm just having a blast. The guys are great, and l learn so much from Jimmy [Lefebrve, the Padres former hitting coach] and its just a good time playing.

I've seen you many times before and just seem much more patient, even when you are pinch hitting. How long did that take getting used too?

Drew Macias: It took quite awhile. I've never been in that role before, but I am getting used to it since I've been doing it more. It's definitely is a different mind frame and you have to be looking for something early in the count to drive. I still feel like I'm putting together good at-bats, working the counts and making the pitchers work.

In my opinion, you've changed quite a bit as a hitter since I saw you in Fort Wayne. It used to be that after one or two pitches you could bounce the ball up to the plate and you were going to take a swing at it. What changed?

Drew Macias: It starts making sense as you start maturing as a hitter, that if you start swinging at strikes you have a better chance. I just worked on it in the cage and BP and only swinging at strikes. Even if you have two strikes, the pitcher still has to throw one to get you out.

When I watch you, if its a strike that you don't particularly like, you are laying off that too.

Drew Macias: Early in the count, I am looking for something to drive. If its on the outside and that wasn't the pitch that I was looking for, I'm laying off of it.

A few times on two strike counts, you are really selective on borderline pitches, sometimes getting called out on strikes the other times getting on base. How tough is it to lay off of those pitches?

Drew Macias: It goes back to the pitchers have to throw a strikes and mentally you have to stay in the at-bat and can't force yourself to expand the zone.

You've been up and down a few times this year, when you go back down to Triple-A do you try to work or experiment on anything in particular?

Drew Macias: Not really. I just go down there and try to play hard. The last time, I was really down there battling with what we talked about earlier, but, at the same time, I didn't let my emotions get to me. I try to be an example and let guys know that if you keep going you are going to get your chance.

You've always been a center fielder your whole life is it tough to get used to the different outfield positions.

Drew Macias: Yeah sometimes. I find myself playing with Tony [Gwynn] that sometimes I start calling a ball early and then I hear him, and its like hey, that is his ball. It is tough getting used to the different angles, the way the ball moves and how it comes off the bat. Working with Rick [Rentiria], it is getting more comfortable all the time.

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